May 122013

A month and a half ago, a bunch of little communication issues and disappointments all added up, compounded, and finally reached a tipping point.

I wasn’t happy about it, but I decided to be proactive in taking steps to improve the situation. I had big plans — I promised crystal clear new rules, weekly tasks, a “Ma’am is pissed at you” early warning system, and a color coded spreadsheet to keep track of it all (complete with push notifications that would be sent to our phones).

I wasn’t being over-dramatic, but there’s a teeny, tiny chance my plan was a just a little overcomplicated. Maybe just a little. Maybe.

While I was working on it (and I was working on it… spreadsheets are not my native language), I gave him one new “guideline” to follow and I promised to do my best to follow one of my own.

Don’t write me or call me everyday. Instead, write me every couple of days with something more substantive than “I miss you. I love you.”

For my part, I promise I’ll be better about telling you when I need more attention. If I’m feeling neglected, I’ll swallow my pride and find a way to let you know.

About a week into the new “plan,” while I was still working on the overly complex legalese-style language of new rules, learning “if” statements for my spreadsheets, and color-coding the whole damn thing, J suggested we didn’t need a spreadsheet. With all of two emails under his belt, he felt better about our communication and thought the spreadsheet solution might be overkill. I gave him a hearty “pfft!” and a *snort* and let him know he wasn’t going to get out of operation-submissive-spreadsheet so easily.

But the truth was, even after just one week, I felt better too.

Since then, J hasn’t written or called every day. We’ve talked less frequently in the past month than we ever have in the two years we’ve been dating.

And guess what?

It’s been fucking awesome. :)

He’s shared more thoughts and feelings and fewer obligatory pleasantries. We’ve had more interesting conversations and fewer “check-ins.” I’ve learned more about him and less about his mundane life-details. (See? I told you I didn’t need constant attention. For me, it really is the quality of attention that matters.)

It’s been good. I feel more confident about us and less anxious about where we are.

There’s been other good stuff, too — it feels like we’ve hit some new level of… something. I’m not sure I can articulate it just yet. I’m not even sure it’s real. It doesn’t really matter though. Even with the sometimes-sadness of being apart, things are pretty good right now. For that, I’m glad.


  6 Responses to “abandon spreadsheet (sometimes less is more)”

  1. That’s awesome! And so true – often just a little tweak can go a really long way.

    It is the mystery of human relationships – constant attention for periods of serenity. :)

  2. How refreshing and reaffirming that you both discovered a solution. I’m often overly complicated and far too analytical as well. It doesn’t do my relationship much good. But still, blundering works wonders.

    Quality communication sounds infinitely better than quantity.

  3. “operation-submissive-spreadsheet” I am laughing my ass off at this! I love it haha I am glad that is has deepened your relationship and you are finding more out about him. That is good


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